Constitutional Period

Ty'Angelo Rice

Separation of Powers

Originated with the Baron de Montesquieu, a French enlightenment writer. However, the actual separation of powers amongst different branches of government can be traced to ancient Greece. The framers of the Constitution decided to base the American governmental system on this idea of three separate branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The 3 branches are distinct and have checks and balances on each other.
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Articles of Confederation

The first written constitution of the United States. Stemming from wartime urgency, its progress was slowed by fears of central authority and extensive land claims by states before was it was ratified, or made effective, on March 1, 1781.Under these articles, the states remained sovereign and independent, with Congress serving as the last resort on appeal of disputes. Congress was also given the authority to make treaties and alliances, maintain armed forces, and coin money.
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Three Fifths Compromise

The three-fifths compromise settled the issue of how slaves will be counted when appropriating taxes in the Union. The agreement was that slave states would pay extra taxes because every slave is counted as 3/5 of a freeman. The reason for this is that it was calculated that a slave is only 3/5's productive as a freeman. It also stipulated that they wouldn't talk about the issue of slavery until 1808.
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3 Branches of Government

The government is divided into 3 branches, executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In the case of the federal government, the three branches were established by the Constitution. The executive branch consists of the president, the cabinet, and the various departments and executive agencies. The legislative branch consists of the two houses of Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and their staff. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and the other federal courts.

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Virginia Plan

A plan, unsuccessfully proposed at the Constitutional Convention, providing for a legislature of two houses with proportional representation in each house and executive and judicial branches to be chosen by the legislature.
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Bills of Rights

On September 25, 1789, Congress transmitted to the state Legislatures twelve proposed amendments to the Constitution. Numbers three through twelve were adopted by the states to become the United States (U.S.) Bill of Rights, effective December 15, 1791. James Madison proposed the U.S. Bill of Rights. In the United States, the Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to provide specific freedoms to citizens and limit the power of the government.
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Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson was serving as Minister to France during the time of the Constitutional Convention. Jefferson returned to the United States only six months after the Constitution took effect and was soon appointed as the Secretary of State in President George Washington's administration. Without the influence of Thomas Jefferson, Bill of Rights mainstays such as the right to bear arms and religious freedom may not have held up so strongly.

Geroge Washingtion

Washington put ideas towards the Constitution along with James Madison. George was president of the convention and rarely attended the meetings but played a big role in getting the Constitution ratified.